For Millefiori Enthusiasts: African Millefiori Beads

Some of the most beautiful beads you will find today are the African millefiori beads. They are known for their floral designs and come under different names, such as African trade beads, mosaic beads and love beads.

What makes African Millefiori Beads valuable

African millefiori beads are now collectibles especially because they are very rare to find. These beads are also handmade, each with its own unique design to make them dear to their owners. The process of making African millefiori beads through layering glass is also quite involving and takes skilled hands to make.

Another reason why African millefiori beads are so valuable is because there are modern millefiori beads in the market made out of other materials such as polymer clay, so finding authentic African millefiori beads becomes even more difficult.

Bead collectors and enthusiasts all agree that African millefiori beads are the highest quality beads that have a rich history and value.

Where African millefiori beads were made

African millefiori beads have their origins in many different regions of Africa. The most popular source of millefiori beads in Africa was Ghana, where the beads were used to symbolize peace and goodwill.

Wherever African millefiori beads were found in the continent, they also were a symbol of wealth since they were mainly used in trade. The beads were worn or displayed in homes to show their owners’ prestige, so the craftsmen and women that made them were also respected as well.

African millefiori beads in the Western World

Even though trade using African millefiori beads has long since died, the beads found their way to America and Europe and were used for different purposes. The best known use of African millefiori beads was during the 1960s and 1970s.

At this period, many people traveled to other places in the world due to the developments in air travel. Those that visited Africa found the African millefiori beads and brought them back home with them. At the same time, this was the period of the Hippies, who adorned the flowered beads as part of their movement.

With this, the African millefiori beads spread throughout the world as did the hippies, and since then, the beads have become even more uncommon to find.

Before you purchase your African millefiori beads

If you are interested in buying these precious beads for your own collection or as gifts, there are a few things you should consider before making the purchase.

First, realize that there are cheaper versions of African trade beads that are commercially made. This can be a great advantage if you want to experience the beauty of the beads at a lesser cost, but it is also detrimental if the beads are being sold as authentic African millefiori beads.

You should check for signs of genuine African millefiori beads, the most common being that the beads should be worn due to use. Your genuine African millefiori beads should be in good condition, meaning that their color should be intact and not faded, but the beads themselves should at least have some minute scratches on the glass as they were handled by their owners. If the beads being sold are too smooth and symmetrical, that means they are recently made.

The best idea is to have a jewelry expert examine your African millefiori beads to determine their age, value and quality. This should dispel any doubts that you may have about your purchase, as well as teach you more about African millefiori beads for future reference.

Remember to buy African millefiori beads that make you happy

Before you hand over a lump sum of cash for your African millefiori beads, make sure that they are exactly what you were looking for, not only in color and design but also in quality and value.

You may be purchasing the African millefiori beads to enhance your wardrobe, so your pick of beads should suit the outfits you have in mind. The same can be done if you are buying the beads for your friend or relative to wear, and in this case, the history or age of the beads may not be as important as the aesthetic value that they hold.

You also may be buying African millefiori beads to add to your collection of rare beads and jewelry. If this is the case, make sure that you have the beads valued and insured if need be. Whatever your reason for buying African millefiori beads, choose beads that are the best quality and design for you.

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